Describe and Discuss the Impact Social Class May Have on Health Status and Health Inequalities

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Describe and Discuss the Impact Social Class may have on Health Status and Health Inequalities Katherine Phillips 10120669 DipHE: Nursing (Mental Health) NUR129: Social Context of Health FHSW: Knowledge Spa Module Teacher: Sally Pitcher Deadline: 23/05/08 Word Count: 1859 This essay will be looking at what inequality is and how different levels of social class affect the health status of people. There has been much debate of what health and illness is and as such has important implication for health policy. The term inequality refers to the degree of difference between one group of people and another. In this case the difference in health between those in different class will be looked at. When looking at the impact that social class may have on heath status and inequalities it is important to first look at what social class and health is. Health is perceived in many different ways at different stages in life. The young look at it in terms of physical fitness, the amount of energy they have, their vitality and how they cope, those that are deemed middle-aged look more at having both their physical and mental well being complete and the elderly look at function, their ability to complete tasks and their state of mind. The World Health Organisation said about health that it is “not merely an absence of disease, but a state of complete physical, mental, spiritual and social well being.” Within the medical framework health can be defined as the absence of disease, therefore a state of health is presumed unless symptoms that deviate from the norm emerge and as such is seen to be a punishment for deviance and to maintain social order ,(Haralambos, 2004). Social class could be defined as the hierarchical distinctions between individuals and groups in society. There are many different ways in order to determine a persons class such as occupation,

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